Fire Ants

We have a long list of stinging, biting and annoying pests around here.  The June bugs and love bugs don't sting or bite but they are annoying.  They fly into your face, get caught in your hair and get smashed into the front end of your vehicle as you drive.  They make a racket bouncing off your windows at night if you have lights on in the house.  And we pretty much always have lights on in the house.  Definitely annoying.

The various poisonous snakes including copperheads, water moccasins where there is water, coral snakes and rattlesnakes do bite and being poisonous can do you real harm.  Mostly they don't, however. They are just as interested in keeping their social distance as you are.  We try to encourage them to go about their business although occasionally we must act - see my previous blog about the coral snake in the barn.

Fire ants are a whole other thing.  They are everywhere.  They build nice tall mounds which warn you of their location most of the year.  This time of year you need to be much more careful.  

Fire ants live below ground during the winter.  Some people have suggested the colony may lose up to 80-90% of the individual ants over the winter.  Regardless, come spring, they come to life like everything else and burst forth.

There is poisonous bait for the fire ants available but I have livestock along with my dogs and cats so I'm not willing to go that route.  I do mow down the mounds every chance I get.  I don't know if that solves anything or maybe it just pisses them off but it makes me feel better.